Years ago when I
first started to publish my video content online there were few options available and, of those, Stage6 was by
far the best. It was necessary to convert the video file using the DivX converter to the DivX codec but the
results, by comparison to whatever else was available, were outstanding. The files were small, played
smoothly and the video was crisp and sharp in detail. Unfortunately too many people took advantage of this
venue and before long there were copyright infringements all over Stage6. Sadly, Stage6 was shut down
for good at the end of February 2008.
So, it was on to
other venues. At the time YouTube only displayed videos in 4:3 format and had no capacity for high
definition videos. It seemed to be a definite case of quantity over quality. Vimeo and Veoh offered
alternatives and eventually I settled on Vimeo as my content provider of choice and established the OceanView
channel. This served me well and, over time, more than seventy videos were uploaded to the
When I started to
build my own site using the XSite Pro software I resorted to using their video player. In an
attempt to provide reasonable video quality I selected High Quality (Video Bitrate:1024 kbps, Video Sample Rate:32,
Audio Bitrate 128 kbps, Audio Sample Rate: 44mhz). The videos played reasonably well inside of the 640
x 360 window but significant pixelation was evident if the video was displayed in fullscreen mode.
However, the biggest problem with playback was in the time it took for the videos to load into the buffer. On
some occasions it would take five minutes to buffer a three minute video. In today's world of, "I want it and
I want it now", sense of immediacy this was completely unacceptable. And so the search began for an
alternative means of distribution. After posting to several video forums in an attempt to determine the
best compression method to use and receiving no valued responses my thoughts returned to my early days of content
the latest version of the DivX software and converting a couple of test files I was amazed to see the difference
between a Flash conversion of the file and the DivX conversion of the same file. The DivX
compression provides a much sharper image but it loads the entire file into the buffer prior to
initiating playback which seems to take forever. You can see the test results for yourself right here.
Press "Play" on both videos simultaneously and you will immediately notice the difference. Once the
videos have buffered completely, expand them individually into full screen playback and the difference in video
quality is also readily apparent.
Another difficulty with the DivX codec is that not everone has the DivX player software loaded on their system. I
have been informed that most people will not download a specific player just to watch the videos, making it
challenging to maintain an audience. This is similar to the days when video cassettes first came to market; beta
provided much better quality than VHS but lost out as the VHS format dominated the market place. Perhaps too many
people still select quantity over quality but it would be nice to see the little guy win for a change. One day we
may all be able to enjoy immediate playback of high definition video files over the internet. Until then I will
keep searching for the best solution.